TeachersFirst's Audio Books with Text

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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form as they reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the audio books and texts. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways. See TeachersFirst's full collection of audio book resources and interactive audio book resources for other options.

 

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Myths and Legends - E2BN

Grades
3 to 8
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you...more
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If myths are part of your classroom's curriculum, then check out Myths and Legends (an English site). Most stories are spoken in English (British and Gaelic). Not only can you listen and read myths and legends from countries around the world, but you can also record your own. In order for your class to upload myths and legends, you must do a quick registry at the site. Registration does require an email address. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Click on the Teachers link to explore lessons and other resources. Your class may wish to leave comments after they listen to the stories. Check out the Gallery, which shows photos of the actual setting for the myth. Unsure of the archaic terms? Then use the glossary that's provided for each myth and legend. Flash is required and can be gotten here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, use this site in your listening/computer corner for students to listen and read along the multitude of stories at this site. Your class may opt to write their own story of local myths or legends, and then submit it to this site. Have students write online legend or myth books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Speakaboos - Speakaboos

Grades
K to 6
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Speakaboos provides an abundance of animated stories read aloud by famous people. Some are read in song! Whoever thought that "Old McDonald" could be heard as a rap song? The...more
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Speakaboos provides an abundance of animated stories read aloud by famous people. Some are read in song! Whoever thought that "Old McDonald" could be heard as a rap song? The genres include fairy tales, fables, multicultural and holiday stories, nursery rhymes, lullabies, and children's favorites. Select an age range to differentiate for various reading levels. Many of the stories highlight the words as they are read. There is also a link to Play. Here you will find a few links to games, printables, e-cards, and more. Registration is required to join the site, but there is no fee to join. You do not need to register to listen to the stories. Coming Soon: you will be able to record your own interactive stories.

tag(s): air (151), folktales (58), listening (91), nursery rhymes (18), rhymes (32)

In the Classroom

Have students listen to a story during a listening center, choose a character from the story, and extend the assignment by writing in-character using the diary, e-card/invitation or printable activities options. Listen and watch stories as a whole group on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students retell the story as a short skit. For more extensive projects, consider using UtellStory, reviewed here, so students can draw and read their own stories in ways modeled here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Problem, A Penny, A President - Sandi King

Grades
K to 5
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This interactive site offers a short slide show about Lincoln. It all starts when Michael can't figure out how to take his papers home (he has no pockets). Lincoln pops ...more
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This interactive site offers a short slide show about Lincoln. It all starts when Michael can't figure out how to take his papers home (he has no pockets). Lincoln pops out of a penny and teaches Michael about the 16th president (himself), the Civil War, the Lincoln Memorial, the penny, and a trick to take your papers home: put them in your hat! This site offers basic background information on the president and his legacy, perfect for even the youngest of students. The site has the option of reading the online story with text only or including audio. This site includes Florida standards.

tag(s): civil war (145), lincoln (86)

In the Classroom

Share the slide show on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students work on individual laptops (or desktops) to listen to the story on their own. Since audio is available, even the youngest students can participate. What a fun way to celebrate Lincoln's 200th Birthday or Presidents' Day! After viewing the slide show, have students write age-appropriate letters to Lincoln, asking him specific questions about topics highlighted in the slideshow. In younger grades, discuss the questions together and brainstorm a class list.

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Bookmaking with Kids - Cathy Miranker and Susie Peyton

Grades
K to 12
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the ...more
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You will want to bookmark and follow this blog. Always adding ideas, this site offers many ways to make a book for any age student. Not only ideas, read the extensive blog material to learn about author presentations and how schools incorporated those visits into making books. The creators say this site is part scrapbook and notebook, so click on the categories frequently to see the new content.

Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Faithful John - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of "Faithful John." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format. Although there is a link for a game, this ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of "Faithful John." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format. Although there is a link for a game, this site was under construction at the time of this review. The interactive (Flash) story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures. Follow the arrows to go to the next page. There are also Play and Stop buttons.

Be aware that this site does include some advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (151), folktales (58)

In the Classroom

Share this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Real Princess - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Real Princess." You may read the interactive story or play a simple game (the game is fun, but not educational). The ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Real Princess." You may read the interactive story or play a simple game (the game is fun, but not educational). The story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). All of the text is written and available in audio, for both your visual and auditory learners. The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. To avoid seeing the advertisements, you may click Full Screen to view the story. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (151), folktales (58), interactive stories (31)

In the Classroom

Share this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume, and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write a new ending for the story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shoemaker and the Elves - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Shoemaker and the Elves." You may read the story or play several games (not all games relate to the story and some ...more
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This interactive site provides the story of the "Shoemaker and the Elves." You may read the story or play several games (not all games relate to the story and some are more for fun than education). This is a text-only story, so no audio is provided. The story does include some entertaining pictures.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (151), folktales (58)

In the Classroom

Share this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Brementown Musicians - Kidoons

Grades
K to 3
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Brementown Musicians." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format, or play a simple game (the game is ...more
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This simple site provides an interactive story of the "Brementown Musicians." You may read the story in text or interactive (Flash) format, or play a simple game (the game is a memory/logic activity). The interactive (Flash) story provides audio, so even early readers and ESL or ELL students can participate in reading the story (with headsets, of course). The audio can be turned OFF. The story includes some animated pictures. Follow the arrows to go to the next page.

Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (151), folktales (58), interactive stories (31)

In the Classroom

Share this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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EnviroMysteries - Maryland Public Television

Grades
6 to 10
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This must-see site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers some excellent interactive activities and lesson plans all about environmental mysteries (asthma triggers, causes of...more
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This must-see site, created by Maryland Public Television, offers some excellent interactive activities and lesson plans all about environmental mysteries (asthma triggers, causes of cancer, food contamination, water borne illness, and others). An excellent addition to a science, health, or physical education class, this site discusses the importance of exercise, effects of mold, how food can get contaminated, and more. The site includes a link for Inside Stories that includes interactive stories about four environmental mysteries (all involving the fictional gym: Reps). The lesson plans include national standards in science, health, language arts, math, and working with others. Lesson ideas are geared for middle grades but could easily be adapted for early high school. They also have video "tie-ins," and lots of details. Some of the activities require Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Share the Inside Stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students work with a partner to navigate the stories. Have students offer a solution at the end of the story. Check out the ready to go lesson plans. Have your students do research about environmental illnesses and create a wiki or blog discussing the causes and solutions. Have your students create video clips or podcasts about these and other environmental mysteries. Upload the videos to YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Merpy Stories - M. R. Petit

Grades
K to 3
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Need some extra safe, online reading for your students? Merpy stories await the eager reader. Engaging, with versatile vocabulary, the Merpy characters will delight your new readers....more
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Need some extra safe, online reading for your students? Merpy stories await the eager reader. Engaging, with versatile vocabulary, the Merpy characters will delight your new readers. Make sure to check out the holiday episodes. These stories do not read the words for the students, but rather provide animation and fun sounds. For extended learning, paper dolls and other crafts add to the Merpy fun. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Merpy stories will be a wonderful addition to your computer literacy lab. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and read the stories together as a class. Individual or paired reading would also work well. After reading several Merpy stories, students may be able to create their own 'Merpy-esque' stories using PowerPoint and animated clipart. For the Spanish learner or ESL/ELL student, check out the four Merpy Spanish versions.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Girl - PBS Kids GO!

Grades
K to 4
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the ...more
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Looking for a new way to spice up language arts class? Look no further than Word Girl. Although the main "character" is female, both boys and girls will enjoy the challenges at this site. The site features about twenty ready to go lesson plans, interactive language arts challenges, online stories, and much more! Some of the lesson plan topics include, Awesome Alliterations, Sentence Fluency, Writing a Diary, Acting out Verbs with Charades, and many others. Visit the link, Huggies House of Fun to practice vocabulary words, creating comic strips, cartoon games (with a vocabulary twist), and other activities to lighten up language arts! Also at this link, visit the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game," an interactive comedy story that will have students thinking and laughing out loud. Visit the Teachers and Parents link for lesson plans, activity ideas, an online dictionary, and printable pages. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): antonyms (26), sentences (50), spelling (168), synonyms (38), verbs (41), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Why not introduce a word activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game" as a class. Then create a learning center using this website and allow students to view the interactive stories and play the games during your language arts block. And don't forget about the ready-to-go lesson plans. Use these plans to help simplify the complexities of the English language (synonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, etc.). Be sure to list this site on your class website and in your class newsletter so students can have some Word Girl fun at home. at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Clifford's Big Dig - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing...more
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Bring everyone's favorite "BIG RED DOG" into your classroom with this interactive storybook. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. Some of the story pages are missing words. Students have to use their phonics skills to choose the correct answer from multiple choice answers. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (71)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then have students work on at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner to read/listen to the story. Be sure to include headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SUPER WHY! - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 2
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This fantastic website, created by PBS, is a language arts dream! There are online stories, videos, interactive games, printable pages, and more. Topics include spelling, letter recognition,...more
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This fantastic website, created by PBS, is a language arts dream! There are online stories, videos, interactive games, printable pages, and more. Topics include spelling, letter recognition, phonics, rhyming, sight words, and other language arts topics. If you are looking for a new way to excite young readers, this is one to try. For most of the interactive activities, click on the GAMES link (they are all educational). This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): alphabet (89), phonics (71), preK (291), sound (105), sounds (70), spelling (168)

In the Classroom

Turn up your speakers and use your interactive whiteboard or projector to display these engaging activities, and get ready for some excited students! Once the site is introduced, set this website up as a learning center (with headphones!) during your language arts block. Go to Super Stuff for printable language arts pages to use for extra practice. Share this link with parents via your teacher web page so they can help struggling readers enjoy learning.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Here, Clifford! - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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"Here, Clifford!" is an engaging interactive storybook using simple short vowels and position words. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. There are words missing...more
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"Here, Clifford!" is an engaging interactive storybook using simple short vowels and position words. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. There are words missing on some pages, with multiple choices to figure out the missing word. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (71)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner. Don't forget the headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Emily Elizabeth Goes to School - Scholastic

Grades
K to 2
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Bring Clifford ALIVE in your classroom with this interactive storybook. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. Students are presented...more
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Bring Clifford ALIVE in your classroom with this interactive storybook. This activity requires no preparation, is very simple to use, and takes about 15-20 minutes. Students are presented with an audio version of the story. There are words missing on some pages, with multiple choices to figure out the missing word. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): phonics (71)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work on individual computers at their own pace. (Headsets would work best). An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website. This story is a perfect activity for the first week of school!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Audio Stories for Children - Light Up Your Brain

Grades
K to 5
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Chuck Brown, the host of Light Up Your Brain , takes readers on audio adventures of timeless classics such as Cinderella and Peter Rabbit, as well as other various ...more
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Chuck Brown, the host of Light Up Your Brain , takes readers on audio adventures of timeless classics such as Cinderella and Peter Rabbit, as well as other various stories. Mr. Brown records the stories and provides them on his web site for FREE! The site also offers user-friendly directions for listening and downloading the stories. You can download the stories as a zip file or use Windows Media Player. You can get Windows Media Player from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (58)

In the Classroom

Use the stories during listening centers or as enrichment to a theme or shared/group reading during class. Play the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students draw pictures of the story. If copies of the story are available, have students follow along with a partner during the audio reading. Learning support teachers will like the option of offering stories in audio to help weaker readers.

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Scratch - Lifelong Kindergarten Group, MIT Media Lab

Grades
1 to 12
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive ...more
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Want to get in touch with your inner child? Get Scratch! Warning: The use of this application is quite fun and engaging! Scratch is a downloaded program that creates interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art. This application can be used for bringing simple ideas and projects to life. It has great use as a paint program without using the animations. Downloads/install files are available for Mac or PC. Other links include a Getting Started pdf, Help screens to show what each block controls and how to use, and a Reference Guide which provides an overview of the interface. A support page is also available for help in using the application.

Material created can only be viewed within the program. Drawings are not saved as a jpg or pic file. However, a "snapshot" of the screen can be created by using these keys in Mac: apple, shift, and 4 and click/drag to surround the portion to save. In PC use: control/print screen. These snapshots can be uploaded or used as a picture in other applications.

tag(s): animation (65), coding (52), drawing (81)

In the Classroom

Quick start: Click stage and in the center pane, click on backgrounds. Click on paint to make a new background. Different colors, pens, and materials can be used to create the background or an image can be brought in from your computer. Objects in Scratch are called a Sprite and can be added in by choosing the folders below the screen. By clicking the script tab, blocks can be moved in to create motion, add sounds (even record your own message), and change the look of the Sprite. Blocks are linked on to each other to create a series of events. A control block dragged to the top of the blocks control which key starts the event. Advanced options include adding variables and other controls.

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Projects can be shared online; however an account is required.

Work is saved to the computer itself and only shared online via an account. To avoid problems concerning content made by outsiders or issues with sharing, save the work locally and either create your own gallery on a supervised class website/wiki or set up a single account where you share the "best" projects online via your own log-in. Remind students of the school's Acceptable Use Policy and consequences of violations, if you do allow them to join/share. Images used should adhere to all copyright rules. Use pictures taken in class or those with Creative Commons licensing (and provide attribution!).

Practical tips: Students quickly catch on to this program when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they will do/draw/say in their creation in order to keep tabs on what students and their creations.

Possible uses: For the lower grades, Scratch provides unlimited possibilities. Use as a new way to show vocabulary usage. Use the paint program to add information to a picture from your class field trip or science experiment. Use Scratch to help in storytelling a concept in a new and unique way, such as how rocks are formed. In the upper grades, use Scratch to show complex material in a new way. For example, students can draw DNA and show replication, etc. through their drawings and storytelling. Draw the different movements of landforms in plate tectonics. Draw or illustrate solutions to Math problems.

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Loud Lit - Loudlit.org

Grades
1 to 12
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature....more
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature. You are given the options of listening to the literature, listening and reading the literature, or downloading the literature to an MP3 player. The number of items available for public use is constantly increasing. The current contents include novels, poetry, classic children's literature, a few historical items, and classic short stories. Some examples of the available literature includes A Tale of Two Cities, The Little Match Girl, The Gift of the Magi, The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, and countless others. A separate column lets you know about newly recorded items. This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): declaration of independence (13), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), literature (274), poetry (224)

In the Classroom

This site is helpful for many subjects and grade levels. Have students use this website when they have to memorize poetry, the Gettysburg Address, or the Declaration of Independence. ESL and ELL students and many learning support students will benefit from the option of "reading" in multi-media format. Use the audio stories with younger students for listening skills. During a poetry unit, why not have students choose one of the poems to read and listen to? Have the students analyze and write in their journal about what they think the poem means. Then have the students share the original poem and their own opinions with the class, making this activity a listening, reading, writing, and speaking lesson. If you are into podcasting, encourage students to create some of their own poetry readings with commentary.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Nory: Kids Audio Stories - Blog Relations: Matthew Lynn and Hugh Fraser

Grades
K to 5
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This site offers over 100 audio stories, downloadable to mp3 players or playable from your computer using Flash. It also has constant updates, news about new offerings, and several...more
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This site offers over 100 audio stories, downloadable to mp3 players or playable from your computer using Flash. It also has constant updates, news about new offerings, and several complete books available as well. The stories available include animal stories, poems, fables and legends, modern stories, and some holiday stories. A few stories include an animated video. The text of the story is included, so students can follow along during the audio reading The audio quality is high, so enthusiasm will be contagious! This site does have some small unobtrusive advertisements. Be aware - this website is a blog, so students can add comments about a story (using first names only), if this is within your school policies. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (58), listening (91)

In the Classroom

Beginning readers will enjoy this site as much as more capable readers, listening intently to the high quality presentation. Share this site with parents in your class newsletter or from your teacher web page. Use it also when you read Alice in Wonderland, and when you teach the concept of "series" stories (try the "Bertie" stories). ESL/ ELL and learning support students will benefit from reading and hearingstories at the same time. Project the story on an interactive whiteboard or projector with small groups of readers so students can follow along and even highlight words during the audio reading.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Short Stories For Low Intermediate ESL Learners - eslfast.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This site offers a list of short stories for ESL/ELL learners. Students can read the story, listen to the story, review the story, click on vocabulary words to access an ...more
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This site offers a list of short stories for ESL/ELL learners. Students can read the story, listen to the story, review the story, click on vocabulary words to access an online dictionary, and more. There is also a link to an online dictionary for other new words not featured in the vocabulary section at the top of the page. Many of the stories offer two listening speeds (slow and normal). Although the advertisements are a bit distracting, this website does offer a high number of ESL/ELL stories on a variety of topics. The subject matter of many stories is not appropriate for younger students. Preview! This site requires Windows Media. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dictionaries (57), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The reading and listening activities are easy for students to work on independently because of the listening option. Special ed teachers may also have students who will benefit from the listening practice. Don't forget to provide the headphones. Provide this link on your class website or newsletter, so the families of ESL/ELL students can read (or listen) to the stories together.

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